Vegan Waldorf Salad

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This vegan Waldorf salad is easy to make and loaded with texture and flavor! Made with crispy apples and celery, juicy grapes and toasted walnuts in a creamy yogurt dressing, it’s a great side dish or starter for any occasion.

Have you ever had a Waldorf salad? I remember my mom fell in love with this dish when I was a kid and told me about how awesome it was. My reaction was something along the lines of “Eh, I guess it sounds good if you’re the kind of person who likes apples in their salad.”

I was decidedly not one of those people.

But that totally changed when I finally tasted a Waldorf salad. The mixture of flavors and textures is pretty unexpected, and totally delicious, even if you’re generally more of a savory salad kind of person like me.

With that in mind, I decided to create a vegan Waldorf salad recipe for this site. It was really easy to do by making a couple of substitutions to the classic Waldorf salad recipe, and the result is a big bowl of sweet and savory deliciousness that’s perfect for everything from summer cookouts to Thanksgiving dinner.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Walnuts. If you can find toasted walnuts, use them. They’ll save you some time when making the dish. I can never find them though, so I’ve included instructions in the recipes for toasting them yourself.
  • Vegan yogurt. Use plain or vanilla yogurt. Waldorf salads are normally made with plain yogurt, but I can’t always find plain vegan yogurt, and I found that vanilla actually works really well here.
  • Vegan mayo. Look for brands like vegan Hellman’s or Vegenaise near the regular mayonnaise at your supermarket.
  • Lemon juice. Use freshly squeezed juice to give your Waldorf salad dressing the best flavor.
  • Apples. The recipe calls for one tart apple and one sweet one, but you’re totally welcome to use two tart apples or two sweet if you prefer.
  • Grapes. Use any variety of seedless grapes. I used red grapes. Some versions of the Waldorf salad are even made with raisins, so feel free to substitute them if you’d like.
  • Celery.
  • Bibb lettuce. This is totally optional, but feel free to serve your salad over lettuce leaves if you’d like. (As you can see, I did not do that.)

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • First you’ll toast your walnuts (unless of course you’ve bought walnuts that are already toasted!).
  • Spread them on a baking sheet and pop them into a 400°F oven until they start to darken. Watch them closely, because they burn fast!
  • Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack when they come out of the oven. You want them to be cool before you add them to the salad.
  • Make the dressing by whisking your yogurt, mayo, and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Give it a taste-test and feel free to add extra lemon juice if it’s too sweet (if you used vanilla yogurt), or some organic sugar if it’s too tart (if you used plain yogurt).
  • Add diced apples, halved grapes, chopped celery, and your toasted walnuts to the bowl. Stir everything up and give your salad a taste-test. You can season it with a little salt if you’d like.
  • I like to serve my vegan Waldorf salad by itself, but you could also spoon it over lettuce leaves.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover vegan Waldorf salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this salad gluten-free?

It is!

Why is it called a Waldorf salad?

Because the original version was first served at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, way back in 1896.

More Vegan Salads

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